Reading Rep Theatre has today announced the full cast and creative team of the first UK revival of Joe Calarco’s queer play Shakespeare’s R&J, which will run from Wednesday 11th October – Saturday 4th November 2023.
In a rigid boarding school, four repressed adolescents unearth a secret copy of Shakespeare’s tale of forbidden love… what begins as a rebellious laugh soon turns into something more violent.
Award-winning actor Elijah Ferreira (Hedwig And The Angry Inch – Leeds Playhouse/Manchester Home) will return to Reading Rep Theatre for the production, having played the roles of Young Scrooge and Fred in their 2022 remount of Beth Flintoff’s retelling of A Christmas Carol.
Ferreira will be joined in the cast by Luke Daniels (Youth and the Young Person – Reading Rep, Penetration – The Cockpit), Brayden Emmanuel (You & Me – ITV, DNA – New Wolsey Theatre) and Tom Sowinski (Million Dollar Quartet – NCL, Cilla – The Musical – UK and Ireland Tour).
Reading Rep Theatre’s Founding Artistic Director Paul Stacey will direct the play’s first UK revival, which hasn’t played a UK stage since the play’s West End debut 20 years ago, and will be joined on the creative team by Chris Cuming (A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Reading Rep, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – UK Tour) as Movement Director, Anna Kelsey (The Wicker Husband – The Watermill Theatre, Indecent Proposal – Southwark Playhouse) as Designer, John Rainsforth (Some Enchanted Evening – Barn Theatre & Tour, Chop, Dissolve, Burn – Alphabetti Theatre) as Lighting Designer, Jamie Lu (Hedda Gabler – Reading Rep, Tokyo Rose – Southwark Playhouse & UK Tour) as Sound Designer and Sarah Harkins (Jekyll & Hyde – Reading Rep) as Casting Director.
Paul Stacey said of today’s announcement: “I can’t wait for audiences to see this epic story of forbidden love turned on its head. This modern adaption shakes off the cobwebs many associate with Shakespeare and allows us to see the text anew. We are very excited to welcome our talented cast to Reading Rep and it's a pleasure to have Elijah and Luke back on our main stage.”